of not so kind words.
of all needed unheard.
let tears run dry,
so you can finally let be.
to live not die,
so you can finally be free.
Through book events, poetry, and creativity, we dive a little deeper into humanity.
of not so kind words.
of all needed unheard.
let tears run dry,
so you can finally let be.
to live not die,
so you can finally be free.
All The White Spaces by Ally Wilkes was a book to have an interesting conversation about.
The vibe everyone got from the book was gothic-ship/ gothic-Antarctica because there was such emotional trauma and desperation coming from those places displayed atmospherically.
Most of the people in the book club loved the book, but a lot of Goodreads reviews were not a fan of what everyone in discussion loved about it.
Below, when I say “others” I am mainly talking about reviewers and the smallest amount of people in the book club.
Some found it not slow-paced at all, while others found it too technical and too slow. Some found it didn’t present the LGBTQIA+ community enough because of the technicalities being in some areas while not in others, while others thought that the emotional social aspects of the story and the journey did. Some found it scary, others didn’t. Some liked the balance of suspenseful events, others wanted more.
Definitely conflicting opinions with this one. I think after listening in depth to readers it comes down to whether a reader likes a character-driven-slow-burn book or not.
Brutal is the monster who doesn’t even know my name.
The man who devoured me.
Ate away my soul.
Day after day.
Only for loving you.
Loyalty Bookstore threw an awesome jerk-free event for the book Weightless by Evette Dionne interviewed by Aubrey Gordon. I found it absolutely insightful and fascinating.
First off, they explained how to them the word fat is just a descriptor. It is not a bad word. Not a judgment. But people should use the language that others use for themselves. It is only respectful to meet someone where they are at.
Aubrey Gordon gave an amazing testimony to the book, explaining how it is a book for fat people to be able to see more fat experiences and for others to understand. She said it has a variety of fat experiences and that the book has incredible complexity and vulnerability woven together. It choked her up several time and also made her laugh out loud many other times. She said it was one of the most honest and moving pieces she has ever read about fatness.
Evette Dionne explained that one of the best parts of her childhood was her very supporting parents that did not force her into dieting. Her parents advocated for her relentlessly and were committed to her being a kid. They didn’t want anything to steal her joy. But even with her parents being like that, her mother still dieted.
One of the topics of this conversation was Weight Watchers. Evette talked about how when she was 22 and was in grad school on a full-ride scholarship, she was depressed. She didn’t recognize that it had to do with her mental health though and not her weight, so she started going to Weight Watchers. She explained how very conscious she was about how heavy her clothes were at the time of meetings and how she would not eat too much on the day of weigh in. Aubrey commented on this section of the book saying how real it all felt, because she had been there too. Evette realized that going to Weight Watchers was bad for herself when she was in therapy. She questioned why she was doing something she dreaded that didn’t make her happy and only more depressed. It was supposed to be helping her fight depression, not the other way around.
Other topics that are in this book are dating as a fat person and forming a relationship with another plus-sized person. Also, how life as a fat person is always influenced by strangers and family member’s off-handed comments.
Interesting topics they brought up in conversation were ways they notice anti-fatness in themselves and how they are working on getting rid of it. Evette grew up surrounded by fat people her whole life and she says she still passes judgment while watching TV. She said that her journey is an unlearning journey, not a perfect journey. Even now, how she thinks about and treats her own body is bad. If her partner catches her, he goes “I know you aren’t talking about MY partner!” She was very honest about how hard on herself she is even in this part of her journey. That she is working on being present in her body. And working to continue to grow.
They dove in deep about movies and media. They said that there are slim pickings when it comes to good media representation. They recognize that representation isn’t everything, but it is something. If represented well, it can help watchers realize they are not being treated right.
The movie that just came out called The Whale, they talked about it having maybe only one fat person who is critic, if that. How is the movie authentic if not fat people are judging it on its merit? All critics are doing are looking at how great the acting is and pushing away all the social issues because it is Brandon Fraser’s come back. They even mentioned how it lost the plot once a fat suit was introduced.
They see body positivity as being useful in terms of going to the store and buying clothes and being able to see things that make them feel great on an emotional level. But that it is only being used to help sell things. There is no movement to actually break and fix the system. They want people to be trying to find a functional way to look at roots to see what is causing fat-phobia and what is actually working when it comes to body positivity and what is not.
The healthcare system was another interesting hard topic. How a thin person can go into a doctor and get a diagnosis right away, instead of the doctor trying to treat the patient’s weight and not really what is wrong.
Evette’s brother is thinner and they worked and worked and worked until they figured out what was wrong with him. Which was heart problems. Evette had to almost die for them to realize what was wrong with her heart.
Through this, they expressed how anti-fat issues within the medical field can do a lot of harm.
Aubrey and Evette talking to each other was very uplifting and cute. I loved the very memorable things they said and their discussions. Like the saying: what makes you resilient can also break your heart and how we live in a world where thin people are seen as experts on fatness.
I found this event very insightful. I cannot wait to read the book when it comes in. This event also had me reading an article Evette Dionne wrote awhile ago called The Fragility of Body Positivity.
The link to the article is below if anyone is interested in reading it.
I love art by artists and will continue to hire artists who do concept art and other wide varieties of art. Like the concept art I got done below by Susanne Hundseder.
Or this beautiful piece I won with a bid at an art show called Cassandra’s Dreams by Elizabeth Leggett.
I love art! And nothing beats an artist’s hand. But it was fun doing the AI generator trend for my husband and myself and then putting a few picture together to see what we would look like in different worlds. In different love stories. It was very inspirational and fun, stirring my writer’s mind.
At the very top are a few AI generated images of my husband and I. One that gives me the feel of Arcane, another that breathes fantasy, and lastly, anime.
Here is a link to the TikTok video I did of us 🙂
Would love to hear anyone’s favorite artists!
My soul is reoccurring
Reborn every winter after death
New body, new depth, new life
Perennial I roam
Oxford Exchange Bookstore hosted an event to talk about The Witch’s Heart by Genevieve Gornichec. It was great seeing what worked for everyone and what things other readers knew about the author and this book after researching.
Everyone loved the snake in the story! All the way from when the snake was a baby to when he was a giant adult snake. Everyone liked the visions, especially in Loki’s point of view. And everyone, of course, liked how the author portrayed Loki. She did an excellent job.
One of the most interesting things about this conversation was how much Marvel influenced everyone’s reading. Everyone imagined Loki the same way because of the movies. We also had a hard time splitting the real mythology from the cinematic mythology that Marvel has brought us. Many didn’t know what Hel looked like in the actual mythology stories and were confused at how she was related to Loki because of the movies. Same with Odin and other characters.
A couple interesting facts that readers pulled from research was that the author combined three different stories to make the main character. Also, that back in time, the heart was seen as something that held memories instead of the brain, and that may be why the heart was represented the way it was in the book.
Jumping back to Loki. This book was marketed as a sapphic book. It was not a sapphic book, or if it was, it gave very little to the relationship that could have been defined as sapphic. But in our conversation, we thought it was interesting that the author went the way she did about it, by not ever really letting Angrboda and Skadi be together, when we thought that Loki would have been more than ok with her being with Skadi and himself, especially since he was doing the same.
Another interesting thing for readers who have not read the book, the book is structured with no chapter breaks. There are only three parts. The first part is about half of the book. For some readers, this bothered them, but for others, especially if listening on an audiobook, it didn’t bother at all.
Very thankful for the awesome conversation and for Oxford Exchange hosting this event.
Are you weary of me?
As I am weary of you?
This back and forth between us.
This unanswered truth.
Are you tired of our dancing?
Of our fluttering lies.
Is this us trying to protect ourselves,
With masks of shamed disguise?
Rediscovered Books hosted Marissa Meyer’s virtual launch event for her newest book Cursed which is the last book in her duology after Gilded, a retelling of Rumpelstiltskin. It was cool to hear that Rediscovered Books hosted one of Marissa Meyer’s first books she ever launched.
Many attended this virtual event where Meyer came with golden tinsels in her hair to represent the book! She started by sharing her inspirational photos that she used to develop the story. Apparently, she creates boards on Pinterest for all her books. This duology’s board was filled with pictures of creepy atmospheric settings, images, monsters, and creatures. Anyone can check out her boards on her Pinterest!
How Meyer came up with her retelling was something she brought up. Her thought process was that the main story was pretty lame when it came to happily-ever-after. She also found it obvious that the king was the villain of the story. So, she made the king the villain of her story, to do the original story justice, and decided, because she is her, that it needed a romance. That is when she came up with the brilliant idea of Rumpelstiltskin being the romantic interest. Also, funny fact, she wanted people to swoon for the king and then feel shame for swooning for him in this second book, so hopefully that worked haha.
She had her audio book narrator come in, which many people said that her books wouldn’t feel like Marissa Meyer books unless they are read by her, Rebecca Soler. This narrator said when doing a series, she has to go back and listen to herself and take notes on who is who, who wants to kill each other, and how she did the voices before. She also jots down adjectives to describe a character to be able to form a voice around them.
After the audio read, Meyer gave fun polls, where we learned that The Runaway Pancake is actually a classification of folktales. Also, that Rumpelstiltskin’s classification falls under Name the Helper. Another fun fact, scholars believe his name might have originally meant Little Rattle Ghost.
If she could change anything in her books, she said what haunts her the most is that she didn’t give Prince Kai a last name. Also, that she didn’t have more LGBTQIA+ characters in The Lunar Chronicles.
Her favorite world to build was the world for Gilded and Cursed because she loves fairytales, lore, and researching. She said she could research and do nothing else, but at some point, knows she has to write the book.
The easiest world she built was for Instant Karma because it is her only contemporary and there wasn’t as much world-building involved. Now, she is working with Locksmith Animation, which is an animation company in the UK, who are looking to adapt The Lunar Chronicles into a tv series. She is very enthusiastic and optimistic because during her meetings with them, she said that she could tell they knew what she was trying to accomplish with the series and why readers liked it.
Excitingly, Meyer said that she held onto lots of things for book two that she didn’t put in book one of this duology. I can’t wait to dive in and read all the reveals and twists that she had set up in book one but didn’t present. And more excitingly still, she revealed the title of her next book, which will be With a Little Luck. It is a companion book to Instant Karma and a ‘careful what you wish for’ kind of story. On top of that fact, she has many things in the works, including, more fairy tale retellings, graphic novels, swag, and more.
Thank you so much Rediscovered Books for the amazing event and letting many people from all around the world to get to attend.
Meeting you in the bookstore
I want to know what’s in your mind
All the places you’ve been
All the worlds loved combined
Show me in words
In conversations so deep
Sitting, opening the pages
We can be entwined underneath